Life in the Spirit is not rubbing Holy Spirit oil into the law and old covenant. Life in the Spirit is Christ as us and us in Christ’s life of full communion with God.
The ‘full gospel’ has been called in some circles ‘coming into the Holy Spirit.’ It does make the gospel ‘full’ and is a genuine advance on forms of godliness in which it is absent. This is an advance of the kingdom that has us doing and experiencing the miracles we read about in the New Testament. I have experienced healings in ministry with friends – more in foreign lands than at home. They are real, not contrived. There are places in which dead people have been raised like the small house church in India.
A HEALED BEING
Yet the experience of the gifts and the manifest presence may still leave our gospel less than ‘full.’ For example whole churches might be healed of physical ailments, yet many of them could still be in need of that greater healing – The healing from their separation from God.
THE SEPARATIONIST MINDSET
Separationism is a product of knowledge of good and evil thinking and the law. It’s a mindset that arises from poor teaching and false doctrine.
People are not separated from God since the cross. But many think they are and many practice forms of Christian religion that erroneously assume separation as the normal state of being. Thus Christianity to them is overcoming separation by good works and in some sectors, praise and worship. Since the cross separation is undone and we are part of God’s life.
Not knowing this, enables sellers of religion to pose as ‘benefactors’ to Christian mendicants – the consumers who inhabit large sections of the Christian Industry. But why would anyone need to be a consumer when the Bread of Life lives in you?
The basis of God’s accomplishment for us – the gospel of the Kingdom – is the incarnation. This is the new covenant in which Christ is our life and our indwelling by the trinity. You are never alone. God is in you and with you and God is three. In living in God we live in community.
IN THE LIGHT
Living in Father’s fellowship we get to see ourselves as we are and God and God as God is. In Christ veils are removed and this is why. We are living in the light. It is in knowing God and being in God that we grow in the Spirit of sonship. We actually get to know Father and the Son as they know each other. Should we be living in a religion of veils it may be, because we have a different gospel and a different christ.
BY THE ONE SPIRIT
‘But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him’ 1 Cor 6.17 NLT.
Thomas Torrance writes, “This focus upon the mutual knowledge of the Father and the Son as the ground of our knowledge of God was not held to detract in any way from the reality and work of the Holy Spirit, for it is only through the communion of the Spirit who is sent to us from the Father through the Son that we may actually partake of the relation of the Son to the Father and through him be given access to the Father himself.” (1)
GROUND OF BEING
This new covenant, the new relationship that is ours, namely the undoing of the separation that pertained in Adam and the gaining of union with God is the ground of our being and more. It is the foundation of the post-cross life and the source of the life of God flowing into individuals and the church.
A focus on the gifts and the Spirit without this cannot achieve Kingdom Wholeness. A charismatic life that does not include our achieved union with Father as an individual or as the community of the church results in withering leaves and decaying fruit.
‘In Christ’ is not just words. This is a state of being in which we are ‘in God.’ To be here experientially we must believe it – which means renouncing and repenting of false gospels of separation. By living in what is - rather than living in a lie of what is not - we unite ourselves with the Father of Truth and extinguish the influence of the father of lies. Torrance writes,
“In ourselves as contingent beings we are confined within the limited range of our creaturely consciousness and perception, but under the impact of God’s self-revelation in Jesus Christ and the creative operation of his Holy Spirit our minds and capacities are opened and our thoughts are expanded far beyond their finite limits until they are made appropriate, in some measure at least, to their divine object.” (2)
‘In Christ’ in this sense we are out of the knowledge of good and evil and in revelation. Living in the truth is more than intellectual ascent. It is locating one’s being in the being of God as a daughter, a son and a church.
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit’ 2 Cor 3.18 NIV.
PERSONS IN BECOMING
The religiously legalistic person can often be trite and irritating to others. This is because Godliness is much more than not being a sinner. Godliness is being a son of God in the Son of God. Godliness is about ultra-life.
Our sonship in Jesus Christ is more than Adam restored. It is Jesus expressed as the sons and daughters of God. Myk Habets explains, “Humans are created to ‘correspond’ with .. or be a ‘mirror’ to .. to God. However, Torrance develops this relational view beyond that of Barth along lines .. of human destiny. Men and women are persons-in-becoming. Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, is the complete person, the imago Dei in perfection and the one into whom men and women are being transformed, from glory to glory” (2 Cor 3.18; Rom 8.29; 1 Jn 3.2 etc).” (3)
Advancing ‘from glory to glory’ is not about sin management and much more than victory over sin. It’s about being you in the fullness of you and the person of Jesus Christ.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 56). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.